I have the 650's predeccesor the 640v2 and the Mezzo 2's and am pleased with both but have no experience with Nad equipment with B&W 685's.Which one would you recommend and why. The final cost is working out to be nearly the same.
Hi scorpion88I have the 650's predeccesor the 640v2 and the Mezzo 2's and am pleased with both but have no experience with Nad equipment with B&W 685's.
However, I would not imagine there would be much between them in terms of quality although the sound will invariably be different.
Best advice would be to audition both systems with same CD's if you can as only your ears can decide which is preferred.
Thanks for responding. I am in Leeds and this week turned out to be a lucky one for me. After having dipped my toes in hifi buying a real cheap Tangent Amp50 along with the recommended Eltax Concept 180 speakers, I upgraded to Cambridge Audio 340a + 340c + S30. I think it is a good system for someone on a low budget, unless of course you want to take the second hand route and get better systems. I preferred going the new route as I did not want to risk a system that would not be covered by warranty. So....
I popped over to Richer Sounds and explained that I wasn't too happy with the system and wanted to upgrade or get a refund.
I got a demo of Cambridge Audio 650a + 650c + Mezzo 2. I then tried out NAD C326BEE + C545BEE + Mezzo 2 and finally Marantz PM6003 + CD6003 with the same set of speakers. This was at Richer Sounds where I was lucky enough to be served by great sales person (Pat) at Leeds who was very friendly, polite and respectful. He first expressed his inability to give me a demo that day as I would need an appointment. But had second thoughts, went back and looked up the demo room bookings and said, heck we are free, you can do it today. Fantastic lad!
I had earlier tried out the NADs and Marantz with B&W 685 at superfi and just for comparison thrown in an Arcam FMJ A28 with the same speaker. The Arcam was in a different league, but so is the price. So I decided to curb myself.
Demos are not without their pitfalls as the rooms are often small and that mucks up the perception of the sound. So one has to use one's head and figure out a way to demo so you can have a sensible comparison yardstick. Instead of looking for an overall sound I picked tracks which had specific qualities (one heavy on kick drum and bass guitar, one heavy on cymbals, one for vocals etc). That was a much better indicator as increasing the volume beyond 7 o clock just mashed up the sound in the tiny demo rooms. In both the superfi and richer sounds demo room in Leeds, the bass was flat, despite all arrangments of speaker positions/angles and seating locations. IMHO home demo is the best option. But in Leeds the only hifi retailers close to my place are Richer Sounds and Superfi. I don't own a car so I can't travel far and visiting another city is out of the question.
Richer Sounds allow you to take home the system and demo it but they have a 15% handling charge. So beware.
I digress... So having tried out the three systems in my budget I went for NAD, which I bought at Richer Sounds and the B&Ws, which I bought at superfi.
The sound is exactly what I was looking for. If I could expand my budget, I would have gone for the Arcam, but I am happy with the NADs. They are articulate and the B&Ws match perfectly with them.
At the end of the day, store demo is nowhere near trying at home.